Let me note two important things going into this review. Firstly, this is my first M/M romance novel. Yup guys! Just popped my cherry ;)
Secondly, I was already sold and comfortable with Mark and Jase coming into this story from book 1. With that being said, I still loved this story and felt like I was reading a completely different series. I actually couldn't wait for the intimate moments between Jase and Mark. No, I'm not just talking the sex, even though that was done so tastefully. If you are a M/M romance virgin, this is a good book to start with.
I was a little apprehensive about the sex scenes, as much as the relationship layout of it all. But after a few kissing scenes and the first sex scene between Mark and Jase, I found myself looking forward to more of those. (Yup! now I'm talking about the sex) I'm not sure if it's the taboo feeling of it all, but I can admit that I kind of liked those scenes. The intimacy, uncertainty, passion and unadulterated lust was quite a potent mix. You just saw a couple and nothing else.
I loved that we got to recount scenes from 'Falling' to get Jase's POV, and the only thing that could have made this novel better, would be at least a chapter from Mark's POV. I would really love to see what he thinks.
Who knew that Jase had all that and more going on though? ... certainly not me! o.O
He always seemed so confident and secure in his relationship, that I was surprise to see that doubts lingered beyond the surface. Even Mark had quite the outing and trip back home. I loved his family and the time spent to also give him a little background.
Speaking of, I loved Mark then and I love him even more now. The guy might be my favorite character from this series when I think about it. He is compassionate, passionate, talented and brings a certain zen and calm to this novel. He is the glue that holds everyone together when they threaten to fall apart.
Shockingly, the upset I felt towards Candace for hiding the truth from Kimber, I totally understood coming from Jase's POV. Going over views from a different side really made a difference. I felt like I was meeting everyone again and in a different light.
There is a balance in this novel with regards to Jase and Mark's relationship. There is drama, no questions about it, but at the same time, it's not blown out of proportion. Maybe same sex relationships are the best, because these two totally get each other o.O
There were no unnecessary hissy fits, for which I, was personally grateful. The hurt, avoiding, heart break scenes were getting too played out in novels these days, so I was glad for the reprieve. Still, when one occur, it was sorted by both guys and a decision made. I'd fight with Mark any day, it was hot! I love his easy will to forgive and the way his presence fills any room he is occupying.
We got to see both sides of the coin as it relates to being openly gay and that helped with the progression of this novel. We saw challenges, bullying, which I believe had even more impact, because it was from females instead of males, and we got a great love story in the end.
Another tidbit I was grateful for, is that regardless of their sexuality, they remained men. No one behaved feminine or try to be more of a female. They were both strong, funny, witty men, in love with each other. There was no need to be anything else and I loved that. Even playing for the same team didn't deter them from behaving like a bunch of guys who hang out and sort through regular relationship issues as any heterosexual couple.
There was love, laughter, strength, acceptance and friendship all wrapped in this lovely package that was Jase and Mark's story. I couldn't have had a better first, because these guys gave me the best M/M romance experience and for that I can't wait to try another ... my mind is open and ready!
P.S. .... gay or not, that guy on the cover is steaming hot!!! I'd definitely love me a slice of that!! :D